On foot again today and we’re going to indulge ourselves a little. We’ll begin at Madison Square Park where the blooms are superb. Hugging the park, the Flatiron building to the south stands stately through the trees, 5th Avenue to the west, Madison to the east and E26th north. 5th Avenue separates East from West in New York, something I’d never taken notice of before but a good tip for navigation. This morning we have time to enjoy the park view, some people watching and indulge in a morning java before our hair appointment at Salon Ruggeri NYC.
Salon Ruggeri is not new to New York City. 2010 saw the curtains close on the gift wrapped Salon Ruggeri Sydney and the beginning of Greg and Craig’s New York adventure. Outgrowing the first salon in Chelsea they moved to Murray Hill for a couple of years and have now shimmied onto 5th Avenue. A fabulous space on the 4th floor, the elevator opening to a lovely reception area with “work spaces” both left and right. Greg has an exceptional talent for colour, but it’s a joy to have a stylist who is a talented cutter too. He has an extensive portfolio styling for magazines, runway shows and has been awarded the ‘Best Blonde” title by New York Magazine. Craig is behind the salon design, mixing antiques and contemporary pieces with natural elegance. His wonderful concept; “a portrait within a portrait” changes with every client. Kicking back, being pampered and catching up with these dapper chaps is always a treat.
You may be aware, paraphernalians, that I am partial to an oyster or 2. L&W Oyster Co is right downstairs from the salon, so what is a girl to do? The menus change daily with produce sourced locally. Freshness is evident with each oyster’s cringe at a drop of lemon juice. Staff recommend wine to match today’s selection, they’re happy to expand your knowledge of US and Canadian oysters or just leave you to devour them. It’s up to you.
Coiffed and sated, we’re ready for the next indulgence: New Museum on Bowery for some creative inspiration. Bypassing Madison Square Park this time, onto Broadway, through Union Square, 4th Avenue and finally Bowery. According to Google Maps, the walk is a mere 29 minutes. Be prepared however, Google Maps neglects to mention the 50’s inspired retro clothing store, Tatyana @ 303 Bowery. It will add a good 30 minutes and don’t switch off gents, it is predominantly women’s wear but they have a range for you too; the check button downs, Racer jackets and footwear are very smart. Personalising the experience, the staff know the range intimately suggesting suitable items. Slither into the Dita Von Teese designed “Second Look Dress” or the “Bon Bon Maxi Dress” and discover your inner burlesque!
New Museum, fortunately, has a bag check for your Tatyana purchases. Check them in and check out the 5 floors of contemporary art, (none older than 10 years). New Museum is the brain child of Marcia Tucker, former curator of The Whitney Museum of American Art. Her vision, to expose the work of living artists unrecognised by a broader public and create a dialogue between the two. At the time of New Museum opening (1977) New York gallery exhibitions focused on older more established artists. New Museum is certainly worth a visit to appreciate the development and growth of mixed media art. Video, performance, acoustics and observations of group behavior are part of the current exhibition. At the end of May a collaboration with the Taipei Contemporary Art Centre explores art production and value. New Museum provides a place to stand still while art evolves before your eyes.
#missjane and I have dinner plans tonight, but I’m starving now! Freemans is behind New Museum at the end of Freeman Alley, running off Rivington. You can’t miss it, go straight to the end and straight in the door. Prop yourself at the bar and Colin will share what today’s wines are by the glass. Devils on Horseback are on the lunch menu as a starter, honestly! Once they’re gone, the pork belly Hush Puppies are difficult to resist. Freemens pride themselves on seasonal rustic cuisine sourced locally from organic and bio-dynamic farms. Good for us all!
Back in Chelsea with #missjane’s work day complete, we have time to chat about our days before freshening up for dinner. Tonight we’ve decided on TAO Downtown, a surprisingly cavernous space at 9th and W16th. Enter via a seemingly endless corridor with Chinese murals expertly painted by UK street artist HUSH. Strategically placed buddhist statues surround the restaurant, reclining, or brought to life by 3D animation. The menu is Asian, visiting China, Japan, Thailand and Singapore. Standouts include Lobster wontons, Miso glazed Chilean Sea Bass and Spicy Chili Chicken. The Rock shrimp lettuce cups would have had a guernsey too had the shrimp flavour not been lost through the generous batter. Cocktails were delicious, innovative and the Ruby Red Dragon needs a special mention. As with many popular restaurants, wait staff are more eager to turn the table and present the bill, than inquire after more drinks. That can be overlooked, however, when Ink Bar is located on the mezzanine. TAO is definitely worth a visit.
I have one last thing on my New York list and I look forward to sharing that with you next time.
Spending a day of indulgence in New York City; most definitely a thing we love….